Author Topic: Dough not uniform.....  (Read 2460 times)

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Offline oz

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Dough not uniform.....
« on: August 17, 2011, 06:07:27 PM »
Yes, I am very new to this, so be gentle please.

When I watch video's, or see pictures of people taking the dough ball and turning it into a flat surface the dough looks perfect.
When I make my dough and try to do this, there are very uneven parts to my dough.  Sometimes it rips a little hole because the uniformity is not there.

Rough recipe:  1.5 cups water, 1tsp ADY, 3 C flour, 2 tsp salt, 2 tsp sugar, 1 TBS oil.

I have kneaded by hand and I have used a mixer on low settings.  I have kneaded for a short time, and a long time.  I have mixed for a short time, as well as a long time.  I have put in the fridge over night, and I have kept the dough out on the counter.  No matter what my mode of operation is, there is never a consistency to the thickness of the dough.  It doesn't have that impressive look like some of the photos - smooth as silk look.

But.... the taste is getting better each time.  I can't wait to get it in a real oven when the weather changes (wife wants me to do all the cooking on the BBQ). 

So what am I doing wrong (probably a lot), and how can I get the smooth looking dough (if there is a simple explanation)?


Offline The Dough Doctor

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Re: Dough not uniform.....
« Reply #1 on: August 18, 2011, 09:14:35 AM »
Part of your problem might have to do with the dough temperature. What is the temperature of the dough immediately after mixing?
We normally look for something in the 80 to 85F range, but this is not hard and fast, so it can vary to some extent.
Try forming the dough into a ball after mixing, wiping it with oil and placing it into a bread bag, then twist the open end into a pony tail and tuck it under the dough ball as you place it in the fridge (DON"T TIE IT CLOSED). Allow the dough to ferment overnight (16 to 48-hours), then bring the dough out of the fridge and allow it to temper AT room temperature for about 90-minutes, turn the dough out of the bag into a bowl of flour, turn the dough ball to thoroughly dust it with flour, then pick it up and dust of the excess flour, place the dough onto a lightly floured surface and, using a rolling pin, roll the dough out to about 2/3 of the diameter you want to have. Now, using your hands, begin stretching the dough out to the desired diameter, making sure to keep your fingers about 1/4-inch away from the edges. This will help to give the finished crust a nice raised edge. From that point on, process it in your normal manner, then with a bit more practice, you will become more proficient, and make a better looking, more uniform skin each time, and enjoy some great pizzas along the way.
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor

Offline Jet_deck

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Re: Dough not uniform.....
« Reply #2 on: August 18, 2011, 09:50:19 AM »
Yes, I am very new to this, so be gentle please.

Rough recipe:  1.5 cups water, 1tsp ADY, 3 C flour, 2 tsp salt, 2 tsp sugar, 1 TBS oil.

The recipe might be rough, as well as your results.  Some of us newbies move forward to more consistant results with a scale.  A digital scale is relatively inexpensive and proves to be an easy way to produce consistent outcomes. :chef:

What type/brand of flour are you using? 
Her mind is Tiffany-twisted, she got the Mercedes bends

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Dough not uniform.....
« Reply #3 on: August 18, 2011, 11:48:27 AM »

If the dough that you viewed in the videos was prepared by professionals using commercial mixers, that could also help explain why your dough balls and skins are not as robust as theirs. It is hard to make a dough by hand or in a typical home stand mixer that is as good as a commercially prepared dough. However, there are some home stand mixers like the Bosch that apparently do a much better job than the typical KitchenAid stand mixer.

I note also that your recipe calls for 1 1/2 cups of water for three cups of flour (type unspecified). That represents a hydration of around 88-90%. Unless you use many stretch and folds, you are not likely to get a uniform skin with a hydration value that high and, even with stretch and folds, it will be a challenge and especially so if the flour you are using is low in protein and gluten forming characteristics. Or possibly your recipe is not correct. Or you added a lot of bench flour that you didn't mention.


Offline oz

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Re: Dough not uniform.....
« Reply #4 on: August 18, 2011, 07:15:02 PM »
DD, I'm lost a little bit.  I read someplace (thought it was here) to never use a rolling pin?  But, I will try this during the weekend.

Pete, Of course the measurements aren't correct  :-[  because I use a 1 cup measuring device with my finger in the cup to hold it, and there is probably a mound over the top as I measure it.  Precision has never been one of my strong points - and I like the idea of a digital scale as this might fix my problem.  I know the water is around 1.5 cups, and at first I did 4 cups flour - but it was a pain in the rear kneading it by hand so I dropped it to 3 cups flour. 

As for the ingredients I use, it's the basic garbage you find at a grocery store (can't get the wife to pick me up some good stuff yet).  Flour is Gold Medal for breads (IIRC).  Salt is basic Mortens table salt.  Oil is Extra Virgin Olive Oil - can't remember brand (probably grocery store name).  And the yeast is active Fleischmann's Yeast, not instant. 

Thanks for the help!